This guide contains information for providers with a current Education and Skills Funding Agency funding agreement and adult education budget (AEB) allocation.
Background to AEB devolution
In 2015 to 2016, the government agreed a series of devolution deals between central government and local areas (Mayoral Combined Authorities) (MCAs) in England.
As part of the devolution deals, certain adult education functions, in the Apprenticeships Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, which are funded by the AEB, have been transferred to 6 MCAs in relation to their respective areas by legislative orders made under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. These functions have been delegated to the Mayor of London under section 39A of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (see delegation letter).
The Department for Education (DfE) will transfer the relevant part of the AEB participation budget to the MCAs and the Mayor of London to undertake the adult education functions. These arrangements are commonly described as ‘AEB devolution’ and apply from academic year 2019 to 2020; the MCAs and the Mayor of London (acting where appropriate through the Greater London Authority (GLA) are referred to here as ‘the devolved authorities’.
What AEB devolution includes
Functions of the Secretary of State to be transferred to the Mayoral Combined Authority and delegated to the Mayor of London in relation to the area.
The orders and delegation agreement provide for the transfer and delegation of the following adult education functions in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 from the Secretary of State for Education to the 6 MCAs and GLA in relation to their areas:
- section 86 which relates to education and training for persons aged 19 or over
- section 87 which relates to learning aims for such persons: and provision of facilities
- section 88 which relates to the payment of tuition fees for such persons
The MCA and GLA, instead of the Secretary of State, will be responsible for these functions in their area.
Functions of the Secretary of State to be exercisable concurrently with the combined authority and the Mayor of London in relation to the area.
The orders and delegation agreement provide for the following adult education functions in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009to be exercised concurrently by the Secretary of State for Education and the 6 MCAs and GLA in relation to their areas:
- section 90 which relates to the encouragement of education and training for persons aged 19 or over and
- section 100 (1) which relates to the provision of financial resources
- the mayoral combined authority and GLA must adopt learner eligibility rules for awards by an institution to which it makes grants loans or other payments in accordance with any direction given by the Secretary of State
- in exercising these functions, the mayoral combined authority and GLA must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State
The Department for Education (DfE) retains the power to specify which qualifications are part of the statutory entitlements, as the government is not transferring this to devolved authorities.
The devolved authorities are required to fully fund statutory entitlements for eligible learners in their respective areas. The ESFA will continue to provide full funding for the statutory entitlements for learners in England outside the devolved areas.
The exercise of devolved adult education functions (statutory guidance)In July 2018, the Department for Education published statutory guidance. This guidance provides MCAs with clarity in the exercise of their adult education functions and the associated budget. Similar guidance has been developed for the Mayor of London.
DfE will not transfer or delegate functions relating to apprenticeships training, persons subject to adult detention or any power to make regulations or orders.
Traineeships for 19 to 24-year-olds will remain a nationally funded and contracted programme with funds provided by ESFA, regardless of where trainees reside.
The following guidance remains in place for ESFA funded AEB:
- 19+ funding allocations
- AEB funding rules for 2020 to 2021
- AEB Legal Entitlements and Eligibility
- AEB funding rates and formula 2020 to 2021
- ILR technical documents, guidance and requirements
- ESFA Education and Skills agreements 2020 to 2021
- College oversight support and intervention regime
- Oversight of Independent Training Providers
- AEB Postcode Dataset
- Memoranda of understanding between DfE, mayoral combined authorities and the Mayor of London
- Financial Assurance: Monitoring the funding rules for post-16 funding
- Statutory Guidance